Sabrina Colombo, Marino Regini

How many "social models" co-exist in Italy?

  • Abstract

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The "European social model" includes: a welfare regime with generous social expenditure; high employment or income protection; a well-developed system of industrial relations; involvement of social partners in policy-making. Within the Italian social model, however, one can find three major dividing lines. The first one stems from the co-existence of different models in different areas of the country. Second, an occupation-based principle in pensions and in unemployment benefits co-exists with a citizenship-based one in health and education. Finally, core workers enjoy high job and income security, whereas the outsiders are highly dependent on the market. These three dividing lines substantially endanger the legitimacy and social acceptance of the Italian social model: each of them profoundly affects the perceptions of workers and citizens, leading to widespread criticism of even those aspects that clearly benefit them and, at the same time, to fierce opposition to the several attempts at reforming it.

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